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J Biomed Opt. 2012 Jul;17(7):076013. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.7.076013.

Kinetics of T-cell receptor-dependent antigen recognition determined in vivo by multi-spectral normalized epifluorescence laser scanning.

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Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, 71110 Heraklion, Crete, Greece.


Detection of multiple fluorophores in conditions of low signal represents a limiting factor for the application of in vivo optical imaging techniques in immunology where fluorescent labels report for different functional characteristics. A noninvasive in vivo Multi-Spectral Normalized Epifluorescence Laser scanning (M-SNELS) method was developed for the simultaneous and quantitative detection of multiple fluorophores in low signal to noise ratios and used to follow T-cell activation and clonal expansion. Colocalized DsRed- and GFP-labeled T cells were followed in tandem during the mounting of an immune response. Spectral unmixing was used to distinguish the overlapping fluorescent emissions representative of the two distinct cell populations and longitudinal data reported the discrete pattern of antigen-driven proliferation. Retrieved values were validated both in vitro and in vivo with flow cytometry and significant correlation between all methodologies was achieved. Noninvasive M-SNELS successfully quantified two colocalized fluorescent populations and provides a valid alternative imaging approach to traditional invasive methods for detecting T cell dynamics.

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